Howard Wilkinson's Political Blog
3:13 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Another Democrat passes on 2014 governor's race

Another Ohio Democrat - former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton - has said she won't run for governor in 2014, leaving the field nearly wide open for the only active candidate, Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald.

Sutton told the Cleveland Plain Dealer in an e-mail Friday that she thanked her supporters, but said "I have decided that I will not run for governor in 2014."

Last fall, Sutton, who is from the Akron suburb of Copley Township, lost her congressional seat after the Republicans in the Ohio legislature drew her into a new district with Republican Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth.

Earlier, former governor Ted Strickland, who was defeated in his 2010 bid for re-election by Republican John Kasich, announced he would not seek a rematch in 2014; and a week ago, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles announced he wouldn't be a candidate for governor.

FitzGerald recently formed an exploratory committee to run for governor; and has been traveling the state to make himself better known outside the Cleveland area.

The only other potential candidate who has been talked about in Democratic political circles is former state treasurer and attorney general Richard Cordray. But Cordray is up for another term as the head of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But Senate Republicans are threatening to block Cordray's appointment. If he is not re-appointed, he could return to Ohio to run for governor.

In a February poll of 1,011 Ohio voters by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, Sutton trailed Kasich by seven percentage points. In the same poll, FitzGerald trailed Kasich by 10 percentage points.